Page 1

Title: The Door is Always Open By Mark Zarecki

Table of Contents • Prologue

Assignment 26

• Assignment 1

Assignment 27

• Assignment 2

Assignment 28

• Assignment 3

Assignment 30

• Assignment 4

Assignment 31

• Assignment 5

Assignment 32

• Assignment 6

Assignment 36

• Assignment 8

Assignment 37

• Assignment 9

Assignment 38

• Assignment 10

Assignment 40

• Assignment 11

Assignment 41

• Assignment 12

Assignment 45

• Assignment 13

Assignment 48

• Assignment 14

Assignment 53

• Assignment 15


• Assignment 16 • Assignment 18

Prologue: My name is Mark Zarecki. The Title of my writing Portfolio is “The Door is Always Open�. It summarizes my story into one sentence. The door to my brain is always open to let new opportunities in and to let old information out to make sure the story never ends. Assignment 1 Letter of Introduction Dear Mrs. Fiozzo, My Name is Mark Zarecki. I have a mom named Christine and a Dad named Rob. I also have two older sisters and a younger brother. I have two pets. A lovebird and a hermit crab. Both my sisters are in college and my brother is in middle school. I am fifteen years old and I like to play sports. I play tennis and basketball. I also like to watch sports on T.V. I am a fairly smart person and my best subjects are Math and Science. My weakness is in English. I am a kind and honest person. I hope to go to college someday to become either an engineer or an accountant. From,

Mark Zarecki

Assignment 2 What’s in a Name? My name is Mark and it is very symbolic. My mom told me that she was going to name her first son Timothy. But then when I was born she thought I looked like a Mark. My mom named all of her kids after saints. Before I was born my dad was thinking of naming me Harry. My middle name is Christopher. It was going to be Robert because that’s my dad’s name, but my parents didn’t think Mark Robert went well together. So my middle name is Christopher because my mom’s name is Christine. My name is Latin and it means warlike. I’m not warlike or Latin.

Assignment 3 Personal Alphabet













Gentle Happy Intelligent Joker Kind Lazy Mindful Nice Organized Patient Quiet Religious Simple Trying Assignment 4 Likes/Dislikes List Likes


1. Playing sports

1. School

2. Watching TV

2. The Yankees

3. Playing Video games

3. English

4. Spending time with friends

4. Math

5. Cheeseburgers


6. Pizza

6. Dallas Cowboys

7. PE

7. New England Patriots

8. Ruby Tuesdays

8. USC Football

9. New York Mets

9.Georgetown Basketball

10.New York Giants

10. Drugs

11. New York Knicks

11. Being sick

12. Buffalo Sabres

12. Spanish

13.Notre Dame Football

13. Politics

14. Syracuse Basketball

14. Sushi

15. Subway

15. Gummy Bears Assignment 5 Sensory Experiences

This summer I went to Williamsport with my brother and my cousin to see the little league world series. It was a four hour drive. I could see the scenery as we drove while I was hearing the sounds of the movie I was watching on my portable DVD Player.

When we arrived at our hotel we wanted to go swimming in the pool before we went to see the games. The water was cold and relaxing and we had a lot of fun. We then went over to the park to see the games. I could smell the grass and the hotdogs and it made it seem like a baseball game should. The clapping became louder whenever a home run was hit or something excited happen. The place looked bigger than it seemed on T.V. After the first game I got a hot dog. The taste sizzled in my mouth. Then we watch the second game at night. After the game we could hear everyone walking out talking about the games. After we got back to the hotel I took a shower. After I could taste the refreshing mint as I brushed my teeth. Finally after a long and fun day I enjoyed the soft feeling of my pillow as I went to sleep. Assignment 6 Metaphorical Definitions 1. School is what the devil gave us to torture us. 2. Food is what god gave us to show that he loves us. 3. Desks are wood with legs 4. A metaphor is a code to describe things.

5. A computer is a digital brain. 6. Deer are horses with pointed hair 7. Tennis is defending you from big bullets with a tight net. 8. Music is a massage to your ears 9. The water you drink is Dinosaur Pee. 10. Big Macs are a heart attack on a Bun. Assignment 8

Color Your World Ever since brown was little he was being made fun of. When he woke up and went to school everyone would always seem so happy on the bus because of their wonderful colors. No one let brown sit with them because they thought brown was an ugly color. Everyday brown would be picked on by the rest of the colors. Pink would always brag and say that she was the color of a heart. Blue looked like the ocean and the sky. Green was the color of the leaves on the trees. Green would always say that he keeps the trees from showing off its ugly brown. Everyone said brown looked like poop, which is smelly and ugly looking. When brown went home everyday

he’d look in the mirror and think, cars are made in a lot of colors, but you never really see any brown cars because they are unattractive. During the weekends there would always be a club party at Blue’s house. The club was called the rainbow. One day brown decided to give it a shot and try to be let in. He rang the doorbell and blue said he couldn’t come in. So he turned around and started heading home. But for a split second he paused and thought, hey, brown is made when you put all the colors together. Plus with other colors like blue and green, bad emotions are shown. If you’re sick you turn green and if you’re sad you turn blue. So brown turned around and told everybody. They let him in and apologized. Then they were all friends for the rest of their lives. Assignment 9 Room Sweet Room Everyone has a room that’s unique to themselves, their bedroom. My bedroom has a window which is behind my bed and a sliding closet with a small room inside of it. I share a room with my brother. There are also two dressers, a bookshelf, and an air purifier in my room. In between the beds is a night stand with a shelf, two drawers, and a lamp. The bedroom has a hardwood floor with two small rugs. One is in between the beds and the other at the foot of the beds.

The most important part of my room is the walls. Next to my brother’s bed is a poster of Jason Varitek on the Red Sox, near my bed I have a New York Giants poster and a poster that has every NFL team on it. I also have a baseball clock. On the top of the walls is a border with sports equipment on it. My room is set up the way my life is. I share a room with my brother and I also do a lot of things with my brother. I have an air purifier and hardly any rug because I have allergies. I sleep by the window because I always want new ideas to come up in my head. Finally, I have posters on my wall and a border with equipment on it because I like to play sports.

Assignment 10 Personal Metaphors 1. Animal- elephant 2. Car- Chevy( any) 3. Article of Clothing- baseball hat 4. Day of the Week- Friday 5. Food- Cheeseburger 6. Color- Orange 7. Movie- Gone with the wind 8. Fragrance- Febreze

9. Type of Building- Church 10. Plant- maple tree 11. Musical Instrument- drums 12. Geometric Shape- Hexagon 13. Piece of furniture- metal chair 14. Song- Have a nice day 15. Season of the year- Fall 16.Television Character- Stuart Scott 17. Cartoon or Comic Character- SpongeBob 18. Appliance or Machinery- Microwave Oven 19. Natural Phenomenon- Hurricane 20. Word- Smart

Assignment 11 Extended Metaphors 1. If I was an animal I would be an elephant. They’re big and slow like me. They also blow their trunks a lot and I blow my nose a lot. 2. If I was a plant I would be a maple tree. They change colors in the fall and fall is my favorite season. I also have one in my front yard.

3. If I was a fragrance I would be febreze. My parents say I fart a lot. Febreze gets rid of the bad smell. 4. If I were a building I would be a church. I am very religious and I go to church once a week. 5. If I was a geometric shape I would be a hexagon. My life revolves around the six people in my family. Assignment 12 Symbolic Recipe Ingredients 1 cup of intelligence 1 tablespoon of love ½ cup of happiness ½ cup of laziness ½ cup of friendliness 1 cup of competitiveness 1 tablespoon of socialization 1 tablespoon of self esteem ½ teaspoon of selfishness Instructions

Get a large bowl and put in less important ingredients first, laziness and selfishness. Then put everything else on top to overcome the less important ingredients. Blend it all with a hard spoon so nothing can get in its way. Assignment 13 The Ultimate All-Purpose Excuse Dear Mrs. Fiozzo, I have a reason why I was late today. It started off like a normal day until I was riding the bus. While I was on the bus I discovered my bus driver was a terrorist. He blew up the bus. At first I see smoke everywhere, but then before I know it I’m in Canada. By then it was 7:32 and school was going to start in less than 20 minutes. So I started running. I almost got hit by a unicycle. I kept running until I had to stop because I hit traffic at a traveling circus. An hour later after the circus had past I continued to run, but I wasn’t paying attention to any signs so all of a sudden I fell off of Niagara Falls. By the time I got back to Rotterdam I realized I was to sweaty to go to school. So I went home to take a shower. By the time I got to school I was six hours late. So that is the reason why I was late for school today. From, Mark

Assignment 14 Unfinished Sentences 1. I usually worry about my grades. If I have bad grades my parents are mad at me. I also want good grades to get into a good college. 2. I feel angry when I have a lot of homework. I don’t have as much time because I play tennis. Plus when something is hard it takes me even longer. 3. I’m moody when I don’t get enough sleep. When I don’t get a lot of sleep my whole day is ruined. I focus too much on it and I’m miserable. 4. I’m happiest when I get a really good grade. When that happens I fell smart. It usually boosts up my whole day. 5. I feel confident when I answer a question correctly. Then I feel smart. Then I feel free to answer another question. 6. I fell frustrated when I do badly at sports. I’m very competitive. Whenever I do badly I think I suck. 7. I feel depressed when I have a lot of homework. When I have a lot of homework I don’t have time for fun activities. So basically I do homework until I go to bed.

8. I am comfortable when I’m in bed. I feel relaxed. I have nothing to worry about. 9. I feel nervous when I’m getting my report card. I always think I’m going to have bad grades. Then my parents would be mad at me. 10. I feel sentimental when it’s September 11th. It reminds me of when the twin towers were hit. It’s also somewhat scary.

Assignment 15 Personal Symbol I have a small long pink rock in my front yard. It has a special symbolic meaning to me. I found that rock 3 years ago in Sacandaga Lake. I was walking in the lake and I felt something sharp. So I picked it up and it was marble looking and it was a long cube. So I brought it back to the campsite. The rock helped me remember all the good times I had with my cousins. In the morning we would have breakfast. Then we would do quite a few things the rest of the day. Every day we would ride our bikes, go swimming, or do something else exciting. Or we would do a little bit of

everything. When we were on the beach we made a sand castle. It almost looked like the Grand Canyon. Towards the end of the day we would go to the showers. Then at night we would have a campfire. Then we would go to bed in the trailer and couldn’t wait for the next day to start. So that pink rock even though it’s small, has a lot of symbolic things to it.

Assignment 16 Map of Life I made a map on Google maps. 1. Bellevue Woman’s Hospital 2. 1139 Eugene Dr. 3. 2142 Tower Ave. 4. 163 Sherman St. 5. Lake George, NY 6. Washington, DC 7. Hershey, PA 8. Wildwood, NJ 9. Syracuse, NY 10.

Boston, MA


Williamsport, PA


Shea Stadium


Giant Stadium Assignment 18 Synectics

1. A pen is wiser than a pencil. You use a pen when you are confident in an answer. Plus you never have to sharpen a pen. 2. A Street is easier to forgive than a sidewalk. Streets are needed for cars to get from here to there. Sidewalks however are a waste of money. If someone is walking near the road they could just walk on the side or on the grass. 3. A cloud is like a contest. There are big clouds and there are small clouds. Clouds try to cover the sun and make it rain. 4. Mathematics is like a promise. Unlike science it doesn’t change. With science things are always changing. 5. An entrance has more pride than an exit. To enter something means you’re not afraid to go in. To exit a place means you’re a coward and you don’t want to stay.

6. Snow is more suspenseful than rain. When it snows sometimes it’s thick and sometimes it’s not. Sometimes it packs up on the ground and sometimes it disappears once it hits the ground. 7. An autograph has less charm than a signature. Signatures are more formal and used for contracts. 8. History is more trustworthy than literature because history is about facts. Literature most of the time is made up, fiction. 9. A friend is more useful than an enemy. Friends cheer you up, keep you from being bored, and help you with a lot of things. All enemies are good for is competition. 10.A house cost more than a home. A home is the friends that you have and the community you live with. Assignment 26 A Day in the Life

On Christmas a long time ago a young boy was very excited. He woke up early in the morning. He couldn’t sleep because he was so excited it was Christmas. He went down stairs with the rest of his family. He opened up his stocking and found a lot of candy in it. Then he opened up all his presents. He loved everything he got. His grandparents, aunt and uncle all came over for breakfast. He enjoyed the breakfast very much. After, while waiting to go to his grandma’s house for dinner, he played with his toys. When he got there he opened more presents. Then he had dinner, ham. The rest of the day he spent time with his family. When he went home and was going to bed he was looking forward to the next week because he had the week off from school. Assignment 27 Cheer Yourself Up! 1. Go to a baseball field and hit tennis balls with a tennis racket out of the park.

2. Watch sports on T.V. 3. Wear my favorite shirt. 4. Eat a cheeseburger. 5. Get two trampolines and jump back and forth. 6. Go skydiving. 7. Watch all the Star Wars movies. 8. Play video games. 9. Play mini Golf. 10.Play ping pong.

Assignment 28 Metamorphosis I used to be

but now I am‌.

1. Short

1. Tall

2. Weak

2. Strong

3. Fearful

3. Fearless

4. Slow

4. Fast

5. Fat

5. Plump

6. A crybaby

6. Not a crybaby

7. Like Toys

7. Like sports

8. Smart

8. Smart

9. Caring

9. Caring

10. Honest

10. Honest

11. Respectful

11. Respectful

12. Mark Zarecki

12. Mark Zarecki

Short, weak, fearful, and slow are in the past. Now I am tall, strong, fearful, and fast. I use to be fat, a crybaby, and like toys. Now I am plump, not a crybaby, and I play sports.

I use to be smart, caring, honest, and respectful. Now I am still smart, caring, honest, and respectful. But there is one thing I know I will always be. And that is Mark Zarecki. Assignment 30 Lessons I learned after it was too late One lesson I learned was to study before test. Last year I didn’t study as much. So tests were harder. When I do study everything is very easy and I get easy 100s. A lot of times I don’t study simply because I don’t want to. It’s boring and it takes time. I didn’t understand why I would study when I could be doing something fun. Instead I would usually study right before the tests. I regretted not studying. Now I’m studying more and everything is easier. So to anyone out there that doesn’t study, you should. Assignment 31 One Medium Suitcase

If I was leaving home forever and I could only take what will fit in one medium-sized suitcase, I would take a variety of clothes. I would take 2 pairs of jeans, 2 long sleeve shirts, 1 pair of jean shorts, 1 pair of gym shorts, 5 pairs of socks, 5 pairs of boxers, and two sweatshirts. I would also bring my IPOD, my PSP, and my bible. Also all the money I have. I would bring my IPOD and my PSP so I wouldn’t get bored, my bible so I never forget my religion, and my money to buy things like food and medicine. Assignment 32 The Perfect Present If I could receive any gift I would want to receive patience. The reason I would want patience is because I don’t have any. If I had patience I wouldn’t get mad if I didn’t know something. Also I wouldn’t be mad if I got a lot of homework. Then I would take my time and do everything to the best of my ability. Then I would get better grades on tests and be able to get into a better college. I would also have the patience to read a book which is a struggle for me. Assignment 36 Memorable Event

Over spring break I went to go visit my sister in college in Washington D.C. That night, we went to a Washington Nationals game. I went with my dad, my brother, my sister, her friend and her boyfriend. The Stadium is new. It’s only 2 or 3 years old. When we got there my brother and I got sodas. The cup was a reusable cup and it had the schedule for the year for the Nationals on it. We took the cups home. The final score was something like 8-4 Phillies. I had a great time. It was really fun. It was just like an ordinary baseball game but it helped cap off my day in Washington D.C.

Assignment 37 How to… How to become a true sports fan 1. Pick at least two favorite teams (in different leagues) whether they’re college or pro. 2. Watch almost every game on T.V. 3. Know almost everyone on those teams.

4. Have some kind of clothing for all of the teams. 5. Read some kind of book or magazine that has to do with those teams. 6. Be very upset when your favorite teams lose. Assignment 38 You’re Turn to Brag I’m the biggest Star Wars fan. I know everything there is to know. I have Star Wars Trivia books and the questions are so easy to me. I can say every line from all the movies in my sleep. If everything we learned about in school had to do with Star Wars I would be graduating as a freshman and be going to Harvard. Assignment 40 Free Speech Speech My fellow Americans, more in particular, sports fans. A lot of you probably revolve around sports, whether it’s playing them or watching them on T.V. But many of you, in my opinion, don’t take the advantage of sports. Right now I am talking to all the NBA and NASCAR fans. NASCAR and the NBA are two of the most watched sports in America.

Quite simply the NBA is boring when you compare it to college basketball. First of all there’s something I’d like to call “Defense”. The reason I put defense in quotes is because many NBA fans most likely don’t know what defense is. They don’t play defense in the NBA, but in college hoops the do. This is the reason a normal game in the NBA is like 110-100 and in college it’s like 75-65. In the NBA you might as well not start watching a game until the fourth quarter. Second of all, college has over 200 teams and different teams are good different years and there’s always upsets in the NCAA tournament. I mean do you really want to see the Lakers in the playoffs every year. And lastly, quite simply, the NBA season is too long. It goes from the end of October to the end of June. It goes through more than half the NFL season, which is probably the most exciting sport, all of the winter sports, and even through over two months of baseball. Now onto NASCAR. It’s the most boring sport ever invented. All you do is sit there for a couple of hours and watch cars drive in the same place over and over and over again. It’s almost like riding your bike around your driveway for a couple of hours. Just like the NBA it’s only exciting at the finish, because then it’s over. Thank you and have a great day. Assignment 41

Always Say Never Books I never want to read again- all Places I never want to go again- New York City People I hope I’ll never see again- any bad teachers I had Things I hope I’ll never have to do again- a backwards summersault, homework, eat bad Mexican food. There are a lot of things I would never want to do again. I would never want to read a book a second time. If I already read it then I would be wasting my time reading it a second time. Places I would never want to go again would be New York City because last time I went I got sick. People I hope I never see again are any bad teachers I had. That would just bring up any bad memories of school. Things I hope I’ll never have to do again are a backwards summersault, homework, and eat bad Mexican food. In fifth grade we had to do a backwards summersault in gym and I hurt my neck. Homework I hate but I know I’m going to have to do it again, and bad Mexican food taste horrible. I know that from 7th grade when we went to Garcia’s. Assignment 45

Driver’s License 1. Take my permit test when I turn 16. 2. Practice Driving with my parents. 3. Take 5-hour 4. Take Drivers ED 5. Take Drivers Test 6. Pass 7. Get Drivers License Assignment 48 Are you Hungry? My favorite is quite simple. It’s a burrito from Hot Harry’s. Hot Harry’s is a Mexican place where you can get the best fresh burritos. The burritos are quite big and they fill you up. The burrito that I got at Hot Harry’s was a Supreme Burrito with Yucatan Style Chicken. It had rice, black beans, lettuce, tomatoes, sour cream, and guacamole. It also came with tortilla chips and salsa.

Assignment 53 The Examined Life Best things about myself

greatest faults


no patience











Hardworking Kind Respectful Polite Trustworthy Gentle Epilogue: The person you have gotten to know in these pages has many different qualities, personalities, and characteristics. This person also knows in his heart what is best for himself, his family, and his community.

Mark Zarecki  

Writing Portfolio

Mark Zarecki  

Writing Portfolio